Russia, Ukraine release 75 POWs each in prisoner swap

2015


  • Ukraine and Russia released a total of 150 people in a prisoner swap mediated by the United Arab Emirates.
  • Ukrainian officials said 19 of the prisoners brought home were defenders of Snake Island, which became a symbol of Ukrainian defiance in the first days of the war when Ukrainian guards refused to surrender to Russian forces.
  • As part of the swap, the bodies of 212 Ukrainian soldiers were also handed over by Russia.

Ukraine and Russia announced their first exchange of prisoners of war in nearly four months on Friday, with 150 people freed after negotiations mediated by the United Arab Emirates.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 75 Ukrainian prisoners had been returned from Russia. They included four civilians while the rest were members of the military.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukraine handed over 75 people in a deal brokered by the UAE, RIA news agency reported.

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“After a long pause, another prisoner swap took place: 75 defenders and civilians were released from the enemy’s captivity,” Ukraine’s Coordinating Committee on Dealing with Prisoners of War said.

A Ukrainian military officer embraces civilians and prisoners of war after a prisoner swap

A Ukrainian military officer embraces civilians and prisoners of war after a prisoner swap amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, at an unknown location in Ukraine on May 31, 2024. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Pictures released with a statement from the committee showed servicemen draped in blue and yellow national flags.

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Ukrainian officials said they brought back 19 defenders of Snake Island, a tiny rocky outcrop in the Black Sea that became a symbol of Ukrainian defiance in the first days of the war when Ukrainian guards refused to surrender to Russian forces.

The committee also said that as a part of the swap, the bodies of 212 Ukrainian defenders were handed over by Russia.



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